Airglow Ripples Produce Luminescent Bullseye Shape in the Night Sky

Following a severe thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, Jeff Dai captured these stunning photos of giant circular ripples of glowing air in the night sky while he was on the Tibet Plateau of China. Standing about 4,450 meters (14,600 feet) above sea level, the Chongqing, China-based creative was able to get a clear view of the breathtakingly luminescent, multihued bullseye shape overhead.

This incredible phenomenon was the result of airglow, the weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. The extraordinary, circular structure of the ripples was created by unusual atmospheric gravity waves–waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins–likely caused by the thunderstorm in Bangladesh earlier that night.

Jeff Dai on Flickr
via [PetaPixel], [APOD]

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